Invoking Indias Spirit
It is now commonly accepted that the political system in South Asia has not performed well. The Indian leadership, responsible for partitioning the country, creating the Kashmir impasse and rejecting Gandhis true democracy in which power flows upward from the people, is solely responsible for this mess.
Our Constitution completed 50 years on November 26, 1999. Based on exploitative colonial institutions, the Constitution is illegitimate, and a fraud on the people of India. However, most political leaders and the educated elite avoid accepting this hard truth. Intellectual dishonesty, not corruption so much, will destroy the nation.
Today, the nation faces a grave crisis. A 100 crore population, 60 crore poor and illiterate, depleting top soil, ground water and forests, increasing draughts and floods, criminalisation of politics, unstable governments, widespread corruption, overbearing bureaucracy with no accountability, congested cities, decaying villages, lawlessness and various social ills plague the nation. Over 80 per cent wasteful overheads in misuse, wastage, bloated bureaucracy, corruption motivated decision-making, and incomplete projects foster inflation. Facing bankruptcy, the nation is now heavily dependent upon foreign loans and direct investment and is drifting towards anarchy or foreign domination worse than colonialism. Ignoring this alarming situation, no attempt is being made to correct our institutions.
People First dedicates this inaugural issue of its journal "Swadeshi Democracy" to the nation. We invite the political leadership and parties, intellectuals and others to accept or challenge our logic, not push the issues under the carpet. Gist of the responses received will be published in the next issue.
Our solution is simple. All that the nation needs is an institutional mechanism for reforms through referendums. The people who are the master should now decide. Our movement is that the Law Commissions at the national and state levels should be upgraded to independent Sovereign Rights Commissions with authority to direct referendums. These commissions will virtually function as constituent assemblies, but the approval will not be by a self-aggrandising coterie but by "We, the People, the sovereign themselves, through referendums. The referendums can lead only to Gandhi --- the spirit of India and the apostle of the next millennium.
FOR BELEAGUERED PAKISTAN
Restoration of democracy in Pakistan without reforms will take it back to the same old corrupted system. The military ruler should announce that, to facilitate reforms as per the wishes of the people of Pakistan, he is setting up an independent commission with authority to direct referendums, except on issues fundamental to democracy or the integrity of the nation. The people will clearly vote for a true democracy in which local governments control resources for handling all local matters under effective transparency mechanisms. They will recognise him as the saviour of the nation and may elect him as its next legitimate executive head.